The 10-Minute Tidy Is All You’ll Need This Summer — Here’s How to Do It

updated May 28, 2020
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Credit: Minette Hand

Who wants to be stuck inside cleaning and washing things when the weather is finally warming up and the great outdoors are beckoning? Answer: No one. Unfortunately, a messy kitchen usually doesn’t have a flexible schedule, so it’ll be right there waiting (haunting you?) until you’re ready to give it some love. 

Your solution for a quick (but also surprisingly effective) kitchen reset: the 10-Minute Tidy, a targeted cleaning approach that’ll leave you with both an amply clean kitchen and plenty of time to spend outside (or just not in the kitchen).

Here’s what you’ll need and how to make it happen.


To spruce up your kitchen in 10 minutes, you’ll need a few things. 

  • A laundry basket
  • Dish soap
  • An all-purpose cleaner
  • A microfiber cloth 
  • A sponge
  • A broom and/or vacuum 

How to Reset Your Kitchen in 10 Minutes 

  1. Remove the clutter: Anything that’s cluttering your counter space and table needs to go, which is important for two reasons. First, decluttering automatically makes a space look cleaner. Second, you’ll have room to actually clean. If you don’t have time or don’t want to run everything to its proper location in your home, put it all into a basket for later. (We didn’t say anything about organizing your entire home in 10 minutes.)
  2. Load the dishwasher and soak everything that needs to be hand-washed: If there are any dishes hanging out in your sink, load them in the dishwasher now. Soak the ones with any leftover gunk on them while you do the next few steps. If you don’t have a dishwasher, soak everything (except for your cast iron skillet!).
  3. Wipe down eye-level surfaces: Use your microfiber cloth and all-purpose spray (or soap and water) to wipe down your counters, tabletop, and, if needed, your cabinet doors.
  4. Sweep the floor: Grab your broom or dry mop and take care of all the crumbs, dust, and debris that ended up on your kitchen floor. Now is also a great time to shake out your kitchen rug if you have one, as it’s probably just as full of debris.
  5.  Take out the trash: Take the garbage out and put a fresh bag in the can. Bonus points if you take out the recycling, too!
  6. Wash the dishes: If you were soaking anything that doesn’t go in the dishwasher, finish up the rest of the dishes. The stuck-on food should be easy to remove by now!
  7. Wipe down the sink: Once your dishes are clean, wipe down the inside and clean the drain’s trap.

Now, your kitchen is clean (well, clean enough) in record time, and you have more minutes in your day to spend doing something else!